View Full Version : Baseball puts Bonds marketing plans on hold

12-07-2004, 10:25 PM
P NewsBreak: Baseball puts Bonds marketing plans on hold
By RONALD BLUM, AP Sports Writer
December 7, 2004

NEW YORK (AP) -- Baseball's plans to market Barry Bonds' pursuit of the home run record have been put on hold, fallout from the release of his grand jury testimony about steroids.

The commissioner's office and a corporate sponsor it was courting for the campaign canceled a meeting on the project. Baseball said it had hoped MasterCard International would sponsor the promotion.

``We continue to assess the ramifications that these issues will have on our business,'' Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, said Tuesday. ``It's another reason why we need to restore the confidence of not only our fans, but of our partners.''

Baseball already had sent the company detailed materials and artwork pitching the campaign. But the meeting was called off following last week's report that Bonds testified he took substances that federal prosecutors say are steroids.

The San Francisco Giants' slugger finished the 2004 season with 703 homers, 52 shy of Hank Aaron's record, and at his recent pace he would reach the mark late next year or in 2006.

The program created by baseball called for a campaign in 2005 building to the game in which Bonds would break Aaron's record. A nationally televised on-field ceremony would offer significant exposure for a corporate sponsor. Teams the Giants visit would be invited to be part of the marketing plan.

Jeff Bernstein, Bonds' personal marketing representative, did not return a telephone call for comment.

Bonds was to be approached for his inclusion in the campaign, but plans had not progressed that far. He opted out of the marketing plan of the Major League Baseball Players Association last year, and he now controls his own image.